ASEE Public Policy Statements

Statement by ASEE Board of Directors on Trump Administration’s Order on U.S. Immigration by National

February 1, 2017

The U.S. Presidential Executive Order on immigration enforcement, issued on Friday January 27, may have a significant potential impact on many ASEE institutional members, most notably colleges of engineering and engineering technology.

The majority of engineering graduate students are foreign born, as are a significant number of undergraduates and faculty. An executive order banning visa and green card* holders from seven countries may impact thousands of engineering and engineering technology students and faculty members from continuing their education and/or research in a timely and reasonable manner. And this does not address, of course, the personal hardship and anxiety they are facing.

A talented engineering workforce is needed to tackle the grand challenges of tomorrow. ASEE member institutions are greatly enriched by the talent, intelligence, work ethic, and diversity of thought that international faculty and students bring to their campuses. Many of these students stay in the U.S. after graduation and contribute to the economy, sometimes starting tech-based businesses or impacting entire industries.

Beyond any immediate negative impact, the creation of an atmosphere of uncertainty for international faculty and students may have a dampening impact on our nation’s ability to attract the best talent to engineering.

While ASEE supports every effort to ensure security within our borders, we hope that such efforts will be carried out in such a way as to minimize disruption to those who teach, practice, and study engineering and engineering technology in the U.S.

*As of this writing, on February 1, it appears as though green card holders will be allowed to return to the United States.